Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $165,981)
The City of Omaha, located in Douglas County, is the most populated city in the State of Nebraska with a population of 428,781 and a greater metropolitan area population of 885,819 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2011-2013 3-Year American Community Survey). A combination of an increased number of crime scenes to process, the time required to collect evidence and conduct forensic analysis, and staffing numbers and experience levels has created a backlog in several service areas. The Omaha Police Department's Crime Lab has substantial backlogs for latent prints, firearms and forensic video processing.
The Omaha Police Department (OPD) is requesting $168,675 to achieve a demonstrated improvement in quality and timeliness of forensic science services and reduce current forensic service backlogs. To achieve these goals, OPD Crime Lab employees will work overtime to reduce forensic service backlogs; undergo training to maintain certifications and qualify to obtain certification; and purchase equipment and supplies to enhance and modernize forensic evidence collection and processing.
Overtime hours will be used to focus exclusively on eliminating backlogs in AFIS latent print comparisons, IBIS data entry, firearm examination requests, and forensic video requests. Training will increase the ability of Crime Lab Technicians to perform forensic services, equipping more personnel with the necessary skills to work independently and in multiple service areas. New modem forensic supplies and equipment will increase efficiency and quality of evidence collection at crime scenes, while processing evidence back at the Lab. The Crime Lab will purchase one (1) 8W 532nm TracER Forensic Laser System, one (1) Mystaire CA-6000 Automated Cyanoacrylate Fuming Chamber, one (1) Arrowhead PSIS Lab Workstation; one (1) Color Photo Inkjet Printer, ten (1 0) rechargeable LED flashlights, three (3) rechargeable lanterns, and components necessary to update the firearms comparison microscope. As a result of the Omaha Crime Lab Enhancement Program, the overall number of forensic backlogs of Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) latent print comparisons, Integrated Ballistics Identification System (IBIS) data entry, firearm examination requests, and forensic video requests will be reduced by an anticipated 20 percent.